"An elaborate tale of family and the paths people take to understanding." -- Seattle Times
"[This] mix of well-researched history and contemporary fiction makes for a fine, sad read." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Hauntingly honest and emotionally resonant." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Gregory Spatz's prose is as clean and sparkling as a new fall of snow." -- JANET FITCH , author of White Oleander and Paint it Black
"At its heart Inukshuk is about family. But Spatz has transfigured this beautifully told, wise story with history and myth, poetry and magic into something rarer, stranger and altogether amazing. A book that points unerringly true north." -- KAREN JOY FOWLER , author of The Jane Austen Book Club and Wit's End
John Franklin has moved his fifteen-year-old son to the remote northern Canadian town of Houndstitch to make a new life together after his wife, Thomas' mother, left them. Mourning her disappearance, John, a high school English teacher, writes poetry and escapes into an affair, while Thomas withdraws into a fantasy recreation of the infamous Victorian-era arctic expedition led by British explorer Sir John Franklin. With teenage bravado, Thomas gives himself scurvy so that he can sympathize with the characters in the film of his mind--and is almost lost himself.
While told over the course of only a few days, this gripping tale slips through time, powerfully evoking a modern family in distress and the legendary "Franklin's Lost Expedition" crew's descent into despair, madness, and cannibalism aboard the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror on the Arctic tundra.
Gregory Spatz is the author of the novels Inukshuk, Fiddler's Dream, and No One But Us, and the short fiction collections Wonderful Tricks and Half as Happy. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and recipient of a Washington State Book Award, he teaches at Eastern Washington University in Spokane and plays the fiddle and tours with Mighty Squirrel and the internationally acclaimed bluegrass band John Reischman and The Jaybirds.